All painting and decorating projects are completed using high quality products. Dulux and Crown Trade continue to be the world leaders in producing top quality paints now manufactured under the Akzo Nobel trademark (Dulux was previously manufacturer by ICI) and you can continue to be assured that they remain as ever, top quality and well respected products in my trade.
However, if you would like to consider using a particular brand then please feel free to discuss this with me when I first visit you. I want you to have the ultimate choice of what products are used although most of my clients prefer to rely on my trade experience and judgement.
‘Trade’ paints are often perceived to be of a lesser quality compared to the ‘Retail’ brands sold in DIY outlets such as B&Q and Homebase. In fact the opposite is true, Trade paints are actually made to a much higher specification. Whilst they may be marginally more expensive any additional cost is well worth the investment. Some Retail paints from less well known manufacturers may be cheaper but are often much thinner in consistency. This means that whilst you may save a few pounds on the cost of materials you will most likely end up paying out more in labour charges for the application of a third coat of paint, making it a false economy. Dulux Trade and Crown Trade paints have a proven track record for superior opacity and obliteration of previous colours. Farrow & Ball and other ‘Designer’ paints are more expensive and they are not manufactured in Trade formulations. Use of Dulux Trade and Crown Trade paints to redecorate previously painted surfaces is a two coat process (except for water based paint for woodwork requiring one undercoat and two topcoats). Almost without exception redecoration using Farrow & Ball paints is a three coat process both for walls and woodwork, so this will be reflected in higher costs for both labour and materials.
I will also discuss with you the choice of paint finishes that are available for your ceilings, walls and woodwork. I believe it is important that you choose the finish that you desire in your home, rather than me tell you what I think you should have. By way of guidance I detail below the various finishes below for your consideration.
Ceilings & Walls:
- Matt Emulsion, Vinyl Matt Emulsion (very low sheen 5 – 15%*)
- Soft Sheen Emulsion (medium sheen 10 – 15%*)
- Silk Emulsion, Vinyl Silk Emulsion (highest sheen level 30 – 40%*)
- Dulux Trade Light & Space Vinyl Matt Emulsion (very low sheen 5 – 15%*)
- Dulux Trade Diamond Eggshell (low sheen 15-25%*)
- Acrylic Eggshell (medium sheen) best suited for walls and ceilings in kitchens and bathrooms for improved cleaning qualities and resistance to steam conditions. I strongly recommend the use of Dulux Retail and Crown Retail Kitchen & Bathroom emulsions in place of standard emulsions in kitchens and bathrooms.
Woodwork & Radiators
- Dulux Trade Eggshell (solvent based, low sheen 15 – 25%*)
- Dulux Trade Satinwood (solvent based, medium sheen 40 – 50%*)
- Dulux Trade High Gloss (solvent based, highest sheen level 80 – 90%*)
- Dulux Trade Ecosure Gloss (water based, high sheen 80 – 90%*)
- Dulux Trade Diamond Satinwood (water based, medium sheen 40 – 50%*)
* Source: AkzoNobel Dulux Trade Technical Advice Centre,
It is also important to note that paint for woodwork and metal radiators is available in both solvent/oil based or water based products. Water based paints are generally considered better for the environment due to negligible levels of VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) content. Solvent/oil based paints however whilst having higher levels of VOC than water based paints do in many decorators’ opinions give a superior finish because they are slow drying (normally 16 hours) which allows the brush marks to ‘flow out’ in the drying process. Water based paints however dry much more quickly (typically 4 hours) which some clients might prefer for convenience, but because they dry quickly the brush marks don’t ‘flow out’ leaving the finished surface rougher to the touch once dry.
It should also be noted that solvent based paints can yellow over time as they need Ultra Violet light to stay white but in contrast, water based paints cannot yellow. Although the premature yellowing of solvent/oil based paints has been the subject of press and TV coverage in recent years, both Dulux and Crown have addressed these issues with extensive testing of their reformulated paints. In 2010 new legislation was introduced forcing all paint manufacturers to reduce the level of VOC’s in their solvent/oil based paints. Solvent/oil based paints must now display a symbol stating that they are “2010 VOC Compliant” to comply with that legislation.
Many of my clients choose wallpaper for their rooms rather than emulsion paint on their walls, as wallpaper can create an extra dimension. This might be wallpaper on all walls, or alternatively emulsion on three walls and wallpaper on the remaining ‘Feature Wall’. Good quality wallpapers can range from as little as £10 per roll up to in excess of £160 per roll but careful choice of manufacturer is very important to ensure that the wallpaper is from a reputable and long established wallpaper manufacturer.
Most wallpapers are the traditional ‘paste the wallpaper’ variety but more and more ‘paste the wall’ wallpapers are now coming on the market. I will be more than happy to discuss matters in more detail with you when we meet. In all cases I do ask that you inform me of your intended choice of brand before you purchase and before work commences.
Many decorators have experienced problems with well known brands on the market that are renowned in the trade for suffering ‘quality’ issues in the hanging or drying process e.g. difficulties in pattern matching due to over expansion once pasted, and shrinkage issues once the wallpaper has dried out. It would be inappropriate for me to name and shame any particular brand here so do please ask me.
Some wallpapers also require specialist adhesives which are usually much more expensive. Once you inform me of the brand you intend to purchase I will research the brand and check on it’s quality and reputation, as well as finding out whether a specialist adhesive is required. An expensive wallpaper does not imply or guarantee it is a quality assured product. Although of course the pattern or design will be a crucial factor in a customers’ choice of wallpaper this must be balanced with the reputation of the manufacturer. If researching wallpaper for yourself online always read ‘Customer Reviews’ as these will help you to make an informed choice.
All wallpaper manufacturers recommend that walls are cross-lined with good quality lining paper to act as the best possible base on which to hang your chosen wallpaper. Lining paper is not expensive, however hanging the lining paper will incur additional labour costs but will improve the overall finish. Lining the walls is also known to reduce the risk of expansion and shrinkage issues so well worth the additional investment.
Embossed/Paintable Textured Wallpaper/Lining Paper
Clients often choose to have an existing wallcovering removed in the redecoration process, hoping to have the bare plaster walls painted directly with their chosen colour of emulsion. Whilst this can be achieved through careful removal of the existing wallcovering(s) all too often the plaster beneath is found to be of poor quality – particularly with older properties. Some clients decide to secure the services of a professional Plasterer to replaster or skim the walls which will be best in the long term, but much more expensive. Others will ask me to hang a replacement wall covering in the form of an embossed or textured ‘paintable wallpaper’. However, if you want a smooth finish to the walls but without the expense of replastering then hanging good quality Grade 1400 lining paper is the answer. Once dry the lining paper can be painted with two coats of your chosen colour and finish of emulsion.
I will be happy to discuss any of the above options with you when I visit you, to help you make an informed choice.